Work accident specialist warns of unsecured ladders danger

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Work accident specialist warns of unsecured ladders danger

2nd February 2010

The danger of using unsecured ladders in the workplace was reiterated this week, after a Bolton house-building company was fined following the tragic case of a builder who fell to his death.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted DC Kennedy Homes Ltd after a 64-year-old worker was killed when he fell from an unstable ladder on 19 December 2007. Manchester Crown Court heard that the man was working on a project to build six new semi-detached houses when he fell five metres to the ground.

An investigation conducted by the HSE found that the building firm had allowed work to be carried out on the first and second floors of one of the properties, before the stairs had been fitted. The ladder, which was used to reach the second floor, had not been secured and was missing its rubber feet.

Karl Tonks, a specialist in workplace accidents with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said this latest incident reinforced the dangers of using unsecured ladders.

"Falls from height are the biggest single cause of workplace deaths in the UK," said Karl, a partner with Fentons. "Evidence showed that the ladder this man used was dangerous, as the rubber feet were missing and it wasn't tied to the wall to prevent it from slipping.

"If the work had been planned properly and the stairs fitted before work was carried out on the first and second floors, he wouldn't have needed to use a ladder at all."

DC Kennedy Homes, of Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure their worker's safety. The company was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay an additional £7,500 towards the cost of the prosecution.

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of accidents in the workplace.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - HSE